It won’t be long before you’ll be receiving your property assessment notice in the mail from the DeKalb County Tax Assessor. It’s inevitable that some of you will need to file an appeal to get the assessed value of your property lowered because the assessor appraised the property at too high of a value. Before you get into trying to file your appeal though, there are some things you should know.
Reasons an Appeal Could Get Rejected
If you decide you want to appeal your property assessment valuation, you’re going to have to be diligent when it comes to gathering all of the needed documentation to get it approved. You need to understand that it’s not just as simple as filling out an application for an appeal and voila, you’re done, and the DeKalb County Tax Assessor will lower the value of your property. It doesn’t work like that. You’re going to have to prove to the County why your property should be valued at a lower amount.
If you don’t supply the supporting documentation needed to prove your claim, the Board of Assessors that reviews appeals will reject it. The assessor who appraised your property will have a duty to prove where the number came from that he put in the record, but you can believe that he will be ready to present his side of things. If you don’t provide anything backing up the claim that you are making on the value of your property being lower than the assessed value, the Board will side with the assessor every time because that’s the only evidence they have to go off of.
If you don’t complete the required form for your appeal, or you don’t complete it correctly, then the DeKalb County Tax Assessor will deny your appeal request. You have to make sure the correct information is on the form and that the whole form is filled in. In DeKalb County, property owners have the choice of either submitting their appeals online through an easy-to-use portal, or they can submit their appeals in writing to the DeKalb County Tax Assessor’s office.
If you decide to write a letter of appeal and send it to the office by mail, you do not have to send an appeal form, but there is one available on the website. Those who submit just the appeal letter need to include this information in the letter, or their appeal won’t make it past the initial review:
- Parcel ID number (from the Annual Assessment Notice)
- Address of the property
- Daytime phone number
- Appeal avenue: BOE, Hearing officer or Non-binding arbitration
- Evidence to support your claim
What Happens After You Submit an Appeal to the DeKalb County Tax Assessor?
The first thing that happens is the Board of Assessors will review your appeal request. They may decide to make a change right then and there, depending on what the basis of your claim is. If they decide to deny your requested change, or they change something but not to your satisfaction, then you can tell the BOA that you want your appeal to be heard by the Board of Equalization. There will be a hearing scheduled with the BOE so that you can present your case in front of the three members of the panel. The appraiser will also be given the opportunity to present a case. After both sides have been heard, the panel will make a decision. You will get that decision delivered in written form. You then have the choice to accept the decision that was rendered, or you can reject that decision and send your appeal to the Superior Court. You’ll have 30 days from the date of the Board’s decision to get your appeal pushed on. When you appeal to the higher court, there will be a filing fee that you are responsible for.
There are two other ways your appeal to the DeKalb County Tax Assessor can be handled. The choice is yours. You can choose to have a hearing officer review your case but that’s only if your property does not qualify for a homestead exemption, and the appeal has to be about value or uniformity. The other choice you have is to have a non-binding arbitration. If you make this choice, you will have to provide an appraisal done at your expense, and you’ll be required to remit payment for the filing fees to the DeKalb County Clerk. There will be a decision made to either accept the appraisal and finalize the value of the property based on that, or if the appraisal is rejected, your appeal will then go to arbitration. If the arbitration goes well for you, meaning your value is closest to what the value is determined to be, then the County will have to pay the fees and costs for the arbitrator, if not, those costs will fall on you.
What If Your Appeal Is Denied?
If it happens that your appeal gets rejected all the way through the process, at the initial review, by the BOE, and then it’s denied by the Superior Court also, that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road for you and that you’re just stuck with the value that was assessed at what you believe to be too high for your property. You may be stuck for that tax year though. You can appeal the next year if you continue to feel that your property was appraised at too high of a value by the DeKalb County Tax Assessor.
Increase Your Chances for Having Your Appeal Succeed
One of the best things you can do to increase your chances at a successful appeal to the DeKalb County Tax Assessor is to get the help of a professional. Fair Assessments, LLC is a company that specializes in helping people with their appeals and effectively reducing property taxes for owners of real property in the States of Georgia and Florida. The experts at Fair Assessments, LLC have decades of experience with property valuation matters and are ready to put that experience to good use for you.